Union Must Capitalize On Their Momentum

Chivas is a beatable side for Philadelphia, even on the road

Sunday, June 27, 2010 marked a historic day for the
Philadelphia Union and the entire Philadelphia region. Oh, what a day it was.  

The club’s new soccer-specific stadium, PPL Park, officially
opened in front of a packed house of 18,755 against the Seattle Sounders. Festivities
started hours before arguably the most anticipated match in Philadelphia soccer
history, and the incredible night was capped off with the Union avenging an early-season
loss against Seattle by dominating the Sounders 3-1. 

The win and, perhaps even more importantly, the type of win were just what Philadelphia
needed.

“For us to come out after the break and have the performance
that we did on Sunday was huge,” said Union keeper Chris Seitz, who stopped the
potential game-tying penalty kick in the middle of the second half.  “Not only huge for us and our
confidence, but huge for the city and our fans.”

The excitement and energy surrounding the new stadium and the
Philadelphia Union did not stop when the game ended. The buzz of opening night and many more home games to come this season was tangible. Rookie forward Danny Mwanga, who scored the third Union goal on Sunday, was
just as excited as the fans to finally have a new home. 

“Being able to play in our new stadium, in front of our fans,
against a team we lost to in the beginning of the season due to a couple of
mistakes, and being able to beat them here, at our new stadium, kind of gave us
motivation to prove that we’re going in the right direction,” Mwanga said after
the match.

With the opening of PPL Park less than a week removed, fans
and players are looking forward to the next home game against San Jose on July 10. However, as
excited as they are about the victory and their new home, the Union must now focus
100 perfect of their energy on the task immediately ahead: beating Chivas USA
on the road. The Union have struggled away from home so far this season, so you
can bet they won’t be complacent after beating Seattle.

But having exerted so much energy and emotion six days ago,
it won't be easy for the Union to travel across the country and play a team
that is in last place in the Western Conference. With that said, if the Union play the way they’re capable of
playing, they should have no trouble getting three points against a below-average
side.

“I think we can take the momentum that we have now from the
home game and the three points that we got,” said Seitz. “There’s really no
reason why we can’t go and take three points in LA.”

“We definitely are correcting the mistakes that we (made) at
the beginning,” added Mwanga. “We are just hoping to keep following in the same
direction and getting better and better and hopefully make it to the playoffs
this season."

A win at the Home Depot Center on Saturday would go a long
way towards achieving that very attainable goal.